Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Great Griffey Base Card Project

I am trying to acquire every Griffey base card.  The lists and charts involved are harrowing and complex - a few base cards I can't even seem to verify exist.  It's proving to be a bigger job than I expected; but as I am hard-headed and nerdy, it will surely be done.  Plus the great thing about base cards is that they tend to be cheap.

As I complete base card checklists, I'll be putting together timelines of each brand's design evolution over the course of Griffey's career and posting them on the blog.  It's mind-boggling how many brands were born and died just in the years Griffey played.

Here's all the base card checklists I've completed so far along with links to each brand's respective timeline as they are posted:

Collector's Choice/UD Choice
Fleer Metal Universe
Fleer Tradition
Leaf Limited
SP Authentic
Stadium Club
Topps Chrome
Topps Gallery
Topps Total
Triple Play
Upper Deck

One-Set Wonders:

Donruss Best of Fan Club
Donruss Fan Club
Donruss Originals
Donruss Super Estrellas
Pinnacle New Pinnacle
Skybox Molten Metal
Skybox Thunder
Topps Laser

FYI: brand name changes count.  As you can see, I'm taking liberties with the titling of the timelines.  For example, I'm including UD Choice in the Collector's Choice timeline.  I also plan on merging some of Fleer Tradition with regular Fleer.  These "spinoff" sets are basically replacements for their predecessors or have aesthetic similarities in the absence of the original set.  Fleer was more or less replaced by Fleer Tradition, Flair went away and Flair Showcase took its place in the market - boom: same timeline.  Brands that are clearly stand-alone sets (such as Fleer Focus and Pinnacle Aficionado) will have their own timelines.

Keep in mind that this is a continuous project, especially as some brands are still made and other are being re-introduced by new owners (looking at you, 2013 Pinnacle).



  1. You are the Griffey Guru. Best of luck with your project.

    1. Thank you, sir. I still have cards to mail you. Hang tight....

  2. Fleer Ultra was originally called Elite, but they had to change it because apparently Donruss beat them to the punch. I could swear I either owned or had at least seen an ad for "Fleer Elite" back in the day, but I haven't seen it turn up on the internet or anything. All I have to go on now is this:


    1. Kerry, you remind me of Alice Cooper in Wayne's World with all the great information.

      "The natives called it "mi-li-waulk-ke'e," which is Algonquin for "The Good Land."

      "Does this guy know how to party or what?"

  3. I am enjoying reading these posts. Don't forget about my 2nd favorite brand of all time (after Topps, tied with Ultra)...Pacific. Counting all the secondary sets, there are 40 Pacific sets from 1993-2001.

    1. Pacific is ca-razy - so is Fleer with all the wacky short-lived sets.

  4. Hi. I am new to your site and am also a Ken Griffey collector (father and son). I would be interested in trading off my Griffey Starting Lineups for Griffey cards. Do you know of anyone who would be interested?

  5. My goal (ok, the first step in my collecting career) is to own every Junior base card. You just made my life easier ! Plus, it's a great way to see all the designs by year and catch up with 15 years of (non-over)production.

    great work
    And judging by your comments, we have pretty much the same taste ! I hope we can be pen pal bffs

  6. Nice work here! How did you determine what is in a base set and what is not? You have a few more cards here that what is included in the PSA base card set for Griffey.